Sunday, January 8, 2012

Muffin Sized Quiche

I have to admit that I am not a skilled cook. I can read and do a recipe if I find them, but that is about it. Part of the reason I started this site with my sister was to keep me motivated on eating right, share our Mealpod system, and to get ideas from other people on what to make!

So when I needed to bring some food to a party this weekend I asked Sis what I should bring and she said quiche! I have NEVER made quiche before so I searched the internet and tried to learn what goes behind making them and tried a couple of methods. I found out that you can use any fillings you want really and that you can do them in pastry or naked and that you can make them virtually any size. Most recipes I found also boasted that you could make them ahead of time, freeze them, and then have them ready for guests, so they seemed perfect to make for the banquet as well as extras to save as Mealpods. If you are going to cook, might as well get some Mealpods out of it.

I opted to use my mini muffin pan for the ones I brought with to the banquet, pretty much using this recipe I found on the internet that uses puff pastry for a shell: Tracey's Culinary Adventures  bacon leak and cheddar mini muffins.   I used store bought puff pastry for the banquet destined quiche because I didn't have to worry about it being gluten-free and I didn't want to stray from the recipe the first time around. The tiny size of the mini muffin pan worked really well for the buffet table when everyone was trying to fill up their plates with a little of everything. Tracey's directions are really clear and made the process go smooth for a first timer.

For my Mealpods I wanted larger servings however, so I wanted to do them in a regular sized cupcake or muffin pan. I had trouble finding a recipe for that size so I sort of improvised. Plus it was my second attempt and I was now an internet quiche expert from all the recipes I read, so I was feeling more brave. I wanted to try making my first ever gluten-free pie crust for half and no crust for the other half. I used a standard recipe for the gluten-free crust:

Gluten-free Pie Crust

1/2 cup salted butter (I used Kate's Homemade Butter which is sooo yummy)
2-4 tbs ice water
1 1/4 cup King Arthur Gluten-free multipurpose flour blend
1 tsp kosher salt
1  tbs sugar (optional)

Cut your butter into large pads and place in freezer for 15 minutes. Get a bowl of icewater ready at this time as well.

In a large food processor I measured the flour, salt and sugar, and pulsed to mix. You can also do this by hand in a large bowl.  If using a food processor add the frozen butter and pulse about 8-10 times just until the pieces of butter are about pea sized. If doing by hand use a pie cutter (I love the old fashioned ones that resemble blades on a handle instead of the new wire ones) until the butter is the same size. Add ice water 1 tbs spoon at a time, pulsing or cutting in until you get a crumbly mixture that holds together well when pressed between your fingers. Add more water if you need to.

Shape the dough into a disk and store in a ziploc bag or wrapped in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Roll the chilled dough out (not as easy as it sounds) and using a 4 inch cookie cutter make 10-12 disks of thin dough. Press the disks into a well-buttered regular sized muffin pan making sure there are no tears. You can use scraps of dough to patch any holes. The dough should be cut off at the brim of the muffin cups. If you don't get at least ten cups filled, roll them thinner next time. Bake in a 350 oven for eighteen - twenty minutes empty to set them before making quiche - just until barely browning. I did the shells the night before and then the quiche in the morning so we could have them for Sunday breakfast with the rest going in the freezer.

The Quiche Recipe w/ Zucchini and Cheddar
3 zucchinis peeled and julienned
1 cup medium cheddar cheese
2 large leeks chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 tbs olive oil

1/2 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups milk (whole)
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp thyme

Get the pan of 10-12 pie crusts cooked and ready. This recipe is for 1/2 crusted and 1/2 crustless so butter another muffin pan generously. Preheat the oven to 425.

Peel and Julienne the zucchini and chop your leeks pretty small (just the white and light green arts). Place 1 tbs olive oil in a medium - medium high pan and sautee the garlic, zucchini and onions just until slightly soft. Remove from heat.

Pinch a bit of cheddar cheese into the bottom of all the muffin cups (both pastried ones and nude ones - it will create a shell in the bottom of the ones without pastry). Top that off with a big pinch of zucchini mixture. To make sure I didn't get too much zucchini juice in there I placed it in with a fork allowing it to drain first.

In a large bowl whisk together the milk and cornstarch, add the eggs and yolks and continue whisking. Add in the rest of the ingredients: cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme and whisk some more. Pour the mixture over the zucchini so it fills up the cups to the brim. I found that they took a while to sink and I had to come back and pour more. You may have extra egg mixture or cups. If you have extra zucchini and cheddar mixture consider yourself luck and scoop them out and have a snack like I did. If you have extra egg, refrigerate it and make some plain quiches with the mixture when these are finished.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 425. Just before they seem finished (almost all the way firm in the middle) sprinkle just a little extra cheddar on top. You should have 24 muffin-quiche from this recipe- half crustless and half with gf pie crust.

They pop right out of then when they are finished just using a fork on the side. We ate some for breakfast, put some in the refrigerator to eat for a couple of days, and froze the rest. To freeze I am still experimenting. I froze the whole pan with foil on top because they were fragile with the crust, and then after an hour I popped them out and put them in a ziploc bag which takes up less space in the freezer. I guess I could have put the frozen muffins in foil at that point instead too. I'd love to hear how you store yours.

Edit 1/12/11 - I froze the little quiches right in the muffin pan after it cooled and then after they were frozen overnight I popped them out and wrapped them individually so they wouldn't take up as much room in the freezer and so we could grab 1 or 2 for lunch! 


  1. Your food always looks so pretty! I'm glad my idea worked. :)

  2. owe nice food.thank you for this post.If you have ever wondered how to make quiche and thought it was a complex dish to master, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover just how easy it can be to make this tasty recipe. There are actually many different types of quiche recipes; however, all quiche recipes typically include some of the same basic ingredients.